A framework for testing the ability of models to project climate change and its impacts
Models used for climate change impact projections are typically not tested for simulation beyond current climate conditions. Since we have no data truly reflecting future conditions, a key challenge in this respect is to rigorously test models using proxies of future conditions. This paper presents a validation framework and guiding principles applicable across earth science disciplines for testing the capability of models to project future climate change and its impacts. Model test schemes comprising split-sample tests, differential split-sample tests and proxy site tests are discussed in relation to their application for projections by use of single models, ensemble modelling and space-time-substitution and in relation to use of different data from historical time series, paleo data and controlled experiments. We recommend that differential-split sample tests should be performed with best available proxy data in order to build further confidence in model projections.
KeywordsRegional Climate Model Climate Change Impact Validation Test Model Projection Ensemble Modelling
The present study was funded by a grant from the Danish Council for Strategic Research for the project Centre for Regional Change in the Earth System (CRES—www.cres-centre.dk) under contract no: DSF-EnMi 09-066868.
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